imagejpeg_0Antonia Steriti’s passion for fresh food was born in her grandfather’s garden helping him sow 200 tomato plants, in her childhood kitchen, creating home made gnocchi with her mother, aunts and sister and around the table with her large Italian family enjoying their weekly pasta dinners. “When I was in high school the only class I liked was cooking,” says Antonia. She learned the basics in home economics class and honed her skills at home alongside her mother.

After high school Antonia attended Essex Agricultural School and subsequently worked at Cricket’s and Lilly’s in Boston while taking business classes at Salem State University. She then worked for caterer Ruth Slater, who led a successful women-run catering business with her three daughters. Inspired by Ruth’s great energy and creativity, Antonia found a business partner and opened Periwinkles in Lynn in 1987.

Fresh, seasonal, simple and reasonably priced were the main ingredients for Periwinkles and continue to be the winning recipe for success at the Salem location that opened in 1996. Antonia delights in seeing her loyal and treasured retail and catering customers enjoy the homemade and fresh foods prepared at Periwinkles Food Shoppe. Antonia has traveled the globe to master her culinary skills at Le Cordon Bleu in London and in workshops with a tuscan chef in Italy.